Ontario Nature recognizes SNC’s Species at Risk project

12-Nov-2013 12-Nov-2013

A new Ontario Nature initiative brings various stakeholders together to raise awareness of biodiversity offsetting in the province. On October 23, 2013, SNC staff made presentations at a workshop in Toronto to share knowledge and insights about biodiversity offsetting in Ontario.

Biodiversity is the number and variety of species found within a given geographic region. Human activity has the potential to disrupt biodiversity; and the goal biodiversity offsetting is to result in a net benefit for the species. If a development project compromises a component of the region’s biodiversity—such as species at risk habitat—offsetting is a way to compensate for adverse impacts by creating that component elsewhere.

Ontario Nature recognizes SNC’s extensive experience with offsetting programs and invited Pat Piitz, Director of Science and Research, and Michelle Cavanagh, Fish and Wildlife Resource Technician, to guest speak about their work with offsetting under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act (2007) through a provincial pilot project.

At-risk grassland birds like Bobolink and Eastern Meadowlark use hayfields for habitat during part of their life cycle, which coincides with harvest operations. Staff are working with a solar energy company to provide habitat within the watershed to offset the development of a new solar farm. SNC owns about 400 acres of non-forested land which is currently being assessed for habitat suitability to use in compensation agreements.

The first of a series of biodiversity offsetting workshops also featured presentations from the Nature Conservancy of Canada, Ontario Nature, and Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. SNC will continue its commitment to conserving native biodiversity by participating in this process and sharing experiences at subsequent sessions.

For more information please contact:

Michelle Cavanagh                                                                                 
Fish & Wildlife Resource Technician
Tel: 1-877-984-2948 ext. 310                                                                                                                                 

Pat Piitz
Director of Science and Research
Tel: 1-877-984-2948 x244